Russia-France sign agreement to re-engine Be-200 amphibian with SaM 146 turbofan

France and Russia has signed a framework agreement to re-engine the Russian Beriev Be-200 amphibious fire fighting aircraft with the SaM 146 turbofan engine.

The SaM 146 turbofan was developed jointly between French Safran Aircraft Engines and Russian Saturn NPO to power the Sukhoi Superjet 100 regional jet.

The signing took place during the French President Emmanuel Macron's meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.

The Beriev Be-200 is a multirole fire-fighting aircraft, with mission capabilities including maritime surveillance, wildfire-fighting, passenger transport and humanitarian relief. The Be-200 is the first aircraft of this type to be fitted with two jet engines located over the wings to reduce the risks of water projection.

The engine will receive modification to suite the amphibious operation of the Be-200.

The SaM 146 will replace the two Ukrainian Ivchenko Progress D-436 turbofan currently powering the Be-200.

The advanced SaM 146 is largely based on the CFM56 commercial turbofan engine, with its core developed from the M88 turbofan powering the Dassault Rafale fighter.

It can develop thrust in the range of 68–80 kN (15,000–18,000 lbf), similar to the D-436.

The Be-200 can hold up to 12 tons of water. The airplane can be filled with water at an airfield using a hydrant system, or it can scoop water while skimming the water surface and fill its tanks in 14 seconds.

Safran Aircraft Engines and UEC Saturn kicked off their partnership in 1996, when the Russian engine-maker began to produce parts for the CFM56. In 2004 the two partners created a 50/50 joint company, PowerJet, to develop and produce the SaM146 propulsion system for the Sukhoi Superjet 100 regional jet.

This engine started revenue service in 2011 and has since logged more than 875,000 flight-hours for about 15 operators worldwide, with dispatch reliability exceeding 99.9%.

The CFM56 engine is produced by CFM International, the 50/50 joint company between GE and Safran Aircraft Engines.